Copyright (c) 1993 University of Cincinnati Law Review.
University of Cincinnati
THE LEGAL ARGUMENT AGAINST PRIVATE SCHOOL CHOICE
62 U. Cin. L. Rev. 37
Steven K. Green *
Private school "choice" has become the focus of the educational debate of the 1990s. 1 Proposals abound that would provide financial support to parents and assist them in selecting alternative forums for educating their children. President Bush's "America 2000" and "G.I. Bill for Children" would have allocated federal funds for demonstration choice projects throughout the nation. 2 Several states have considered more modest plans to assist parents in paying for private education. 3 The gist of these proposals is that enabling parents to choose between sending their children to public schools or their private counterparts will increase parental involvement in education and make public schools more responsive and more innovative as they compete for scarce resources and the best students. The result, it is argued, will be greater educational opportunities for all, as well as an improvement of America's decaying public educational system. An educational system based on free market principles will somehow solve the seemingly insurmountable problems facing our public schools. 4
Choice advocates also argue, somewhat inconsistently, that private school choice will empower parents - especially those on the lower-economic level - to obtain a better education for their children than is afforded through the public educational system. 5 Here, the goal is not to improve education generally, but to provide access into the (better) private school system. Thus, a strange coalition has emerged: economically and religiously conservative interest groups paired with their anathema - poor inner-city parents who would otherwise support public spending policies. Incongruous ...
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